Vitreous China vs. Porcelain: What’s The Difference?

Vitreous China vs. Porcelain: What’s The Difference?
2 minute read

There is a decent amount of confusion when it comes to the differences between vitreous china and porcelain.

Are they two different materials or the same material with different names?

To state it simply and clarify, vitreous china and porcelain are made from the same exact materials; vitreous china is simply the glazing technique that is added onto porcelain for that sleek, shiny look you see on common bathroom sinks and toilet.

How Porcelain is Made

Porcelain is made by cooking ceramic materials such as clay, feldspar, and silica, at very high temperatures to achieve the desired look.

What we mean by “desired look” is really between a glazed or unglazed look.

Glazed or Unglazed?

The most popular and frequently seen unglazed porcelain is commonly called bisque or biscuit porcelain, named after its light-tan, off-white coloration.

Whether or not you want a glazed or unglazed finish is completely dependant on the manufacturing process, specifically, what is called the firing process.

For unglazed styles, such as our VCS-1114B Vanity Sink, the firing process begins by heating up the inorganic materials of clay, feldspar, and silica to harden them. For unglazed styles, the process stops here.

You are then left with a very raw, organic-looking finished product that can be fitting for a rustic or vintage bathroom decor such as a modern-day farmhouse.

For glazed styles, such as vitreous china, they are subjected to a second firing process to achieve a much higher temperature.

Once the right temperature is reached, an stain resistant enamel liquid glass coating is applied on top of the porcelain.

As a result, you are left with the beautiful finished product we know as vitreous china.

The smooth vitreous enamel surface of vitreous china offers many benefits that unglazed sinks do not, hence the reason why glazed styles are more popular today.

A few of the biggest benefits of glazed sinks are that the gloss enamel coating acts as a protective casing making it more resistant to scratches, more sanitary, and more durable.

For these benefits, vitreous china is commonly the choice product for not only individual’s homes but industrial and commercial infrastructures as well as they generally last longer.

Caring For Your Porcelain

As a general rule of thumb, you should try to clean your porcelain sinks on a daily basis, if not, weekly to prevent soap scum and other bacterial buildups.

Try keeping a washcloth or sponge near your sink at all times so you can easily wipe down the inside of the porcelain bowl as your washing your hands or performing other daily chores over the sink.

You should avoid abrasive cleaners! Porcelain is durable, however, if you’re trying to maintain and extend the lifetime of your porcelain sinks, abrasive cleaners will do the exact opposite as they are too harsh for porcelain products.

For a deep clean, line your sink bowl with layers of paper towels and pour over bleach, covering all areas of your sink. After roughly 15-30 minutes, remove towels and rinse the bowl with water. This should remove any soap scum and other stains you may have tarnishing your porcelain sink bowls.

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